Sociological perspectives

Length: 897 words


Functionalists look at society on a macro scale, this means they look at society on a large scale. Functionalists are positive about society. They see the good in everything, they even think crime is positive for society. They believe society is based on consensus which means agreement. Functionalists believe that each part of society has a function to make sure society runs smoothly.


Marxists also look at society on a macro scale. They are negative about society and see the bad in everything. Marxists believe society is dominated by the ruling class. They also believe society is based on conflict which means disagreement. The conflict is between the classes – they believe the conflict is between the working class and ruling class. Marxists are interested in capitalist societies such as Britain, Europe and the USA. These societies are based on some people wanting to make as much money as they can no matter how they treat people to get it. They believe that the ruling class make all the money because they exploit and pay working class people low wages.


Many feminist are negative about society and see the bad in everything. Most feminists think society is dominated by men, this is known as patriarchy. Feminists believe society is based on conflict, the conflict is between males and females. They believe women are disadvantaged in society and that men have more power than women. There are a lot of different feminist theories but they all have one thing in common, they all look at the differences in society between men and women and how the differences can be resolved. The three main feminist theories are ;

* liberal feminism – these feminists believe men and women are becoming more equal in society.

* Marxist feminism – these feminists believe that men and women are still unequal in society.

* Radical feminism – theses feminists also believe that men and women are still unequal in society.


Interactionists look at society on a micro scale this means they look at society on a small scale. They don’t want to generalise their ideas to the whole of society. Interactionists study how people behave in small scale situations e.g. they wouldn’t look at what education does for the whole of society they look at one specific class in a school. Interactionists are interested in looking at how people interact with each other in different situations such as in school, at work and at home.


Collectivism perceives a group as having one single identity. A collective believes that value to the collective is the main objective. The collective could be family, country or any other group that a person belongs to. The advantage of living in a collectivist society is that there’s always help and care for one another. No one is left out and everyone is involved in decision making. Asian and Latin cultures tend to be the more collectivist, they generally put focus on family, community and loyalty to each other. Family mainly comes first in these cultures.


Postmodernism focuses on rapid change and uncertainty in society “chaos”. Postmodernists believe that the notion of truth is an illusion and is misused by people and groups with special interests to gain power over others. They claim that facts are too limiting to determine everything they say ‘what is fact today can change tomorrow.’

The New Right

The new right believe that the welfare of people was not the full responsibility of the government, they believed that the responsibility was the individuals and their family. They regarded state support as intrusive. They said that people needed to be independent and take responsibility for their own welfare and themselves and also believed that people should support their selves.

Ruth Fouracre

Charlotte Davies

Describe the concepts of health

There are three concepts of health, these three concepts are; holistic, negative and positive.

Holistic health doesn’t just focus on the body it focuses on the mind and spirit as well and doesn’t see them as separate parts . It only promotes surgery and medicines when it’s absolutely essential and there are no other solutions. It look for underlying symptoms instead of covering the symptoms up with medicines. Holistic health see’s the mind, body and spirit as being intertwined with each other and if there is something wrong with the one it will affect the others. With holistic health there can be many different treatment approaches.

A negative concept of health is the view that being healthy is the absence of illness which is not having and symptoms of disease, pain or distress. People with this view believe good health is normal and take it for granted. They think that they don’t need to take any action to keep fit and healthy and don’t think of themselves as ill when they have colds, headaches or feel tired or depressed. A negative concept of health also means we shouldn’t feel ill unless we have an actual physical ailment.

A positive concept of health is believing that being health is a state achieved by continuous effort. People believe this take active steps to maintain their health. They take credit for absence from disease and blame their selves if they become ill. The concept of positive health also refers to the physical, intellectual, emotional and social well-being of an individual rather than the absence of disease.

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